Since I have established that we are, in fact, alive, some have asked for pictures.  Sheesh, if you give a mouse a cookie… Nah, I’m kidding.  Pictures:


Jack’s Halloween costume this year…a lumberjack. I made him “flapjacks” for breakfast, too.  Arf, arf. I’m a goof for Halloween. Does it make me unspiritual if it’s actually one of my favorite, maybe favorite, holiday?  Note the glued on mutton chops and chest hair…



laughyThe boys are still laughy, crazy, and driving their mothers insane–with joy, of course.


I have always felt that I wouldn’t be a good mother if I didn’t publicly display a picture of my naked children somewhere at some point…


One of my best friends, Katy, got married, and it was so good to see so many friends.  I also sang, “Be Thou My Vision”. Yes, I performed.  That rarely happens nowadays because I’m also too scared.


This is an older picture, but I love it.  This is when Jack’s Memere gave him his birthday present of Elmo sprinkler.  He had to be naked to fully enjoy it.  Actually, he’s naked a lot.  One of life’s joys is to be naked, I think, so I encourage it in my younguns.  I don’t encourage public nudity, though.  Just to make it clear, you know.


One of those beach days I was talking about.  This was middle of September, I think.


My mom and a couple of good family friends came up to visit.  We had a great time having high noon tea at the American Girl Doll Musuem, though I can’t say the same for Jack, who was forced to sit next to an American Girl doll that was attached to the table by a doll high chair.  Also, he might have been embarrassed that he looked like a dork with his jeans hiked up his calves, exposing white ankle socks with black shoes.  It really wasn’t his best day…


My sister-in-law, Mandi’s, mother knit Jack a winter hat.  He is obsessed with it, and has worn it 24/7 for at least 5 days now.  He even sleeps in it. And yes, he is eating hot dog, peanut butter puff cereal, and goldfish crackers for lunch.  I hadn’t been to the grocery store in awhile.  Don’t judge me.  Besides, they were whole wheat goldfish crackers.


And finally, what happens when one lets a 2 year old choose his own outfit.  We’ve got the favored winter knit hat, a 2 sizes too small onesie unable to snap over his bulk, swim trunks that are 2 sizes too big (by the way, it snowed here last night…it was beautiful too), and lumberjack house booties.  He’s on his way to becoming…a man that chooses his own clothing. :)

Funniest Jack story as of late:  I have Shakira’s “Wherever, Whenever” as my ringtone.  Jack now has most of the words memorized, and sings along with me whenever my phone rings.  I’m working on teaching him Latin dancing, too.

Yay. I’ll work on uploading a video, Melyssa.


This is the rap that 2 month old Jack used to sing to his papa. It came from the brain of his homey, rap-genius mama:

Yo Yo Yo

My name is Jackabee

I’m a baby an’ I like my pacibee

When I see the otha babies I say


To all my peeps in their cribs.

Hey. Hey. Hey.

I would pull up his hood, make him squat down while he sang it (supporting his back against my tummy, because he was, after all, only 2 months) and made him to rap arm motions to it, to make it authentic. Yeah, I’m such a cool mom. He’s NEVER going to be embarrassed of me.

Jack’s cool rap has made its internet debut because I’m slowly taking Jack off the pacibee. I feel sorry for him, but I don’t want him to have messed up teeth or have an addiction to it that’s harder to break later on. When I told my mom, bless her sweet little soul, she gave me the puppy dog look, “But Lauren, he’s so little…Just let him have it at nap time. You sucked your thumb until you were five and you didn’t turn out so bad!”

“Yeah, mom, unless you thought it was great fun to pay $5000 for braces? Or how I’m going to have to get braces again before my messed up jaw alignment that the first braces never fixed makes my jaw actually fall off my face (INVISALIGN, thankyouverymuch. My future braces mantra: I will get dates when I have braces…I will get dates when I have braces.). So…that little ordeal only turned out to be like $10,000 total. Yeah, totally worth it, right?”


I love her, but she’s like opposite-of-what-I-say “mom #2” that I have to cut out of my line of hearing in order to establish my own parenting style sometimes. Like when we go to my parents’ house and I tell Jack he can’t have another cookie, so he throws a fit. My reaction to fits? Ignore them. But what does he do? He goes to his grandma. Why? Because she caves. And she scoops him up against my will, all flattered at his usury, and runs off to the kitchen to get him a cookie or a warm glass of milk with a sprig of mint in it. Argh. She’s going to protest this post, too. But I just wrote about how I love her, right? Love you, mom. Plus, she’s a grandmother, and I will probably do these same things if I ever make it to grandmahood.

I tried cutting the tip off of one of his pacis at naptime yesterday. Oh man, he was mad! The entire parenting internet, which speaks only truth, spoke of how their kids just never wanted their paci anymore after they cut the tip off. They would just go, throw their paci in the trash, and skip happily off to the land of Big Boys and Girls Who Don’t Suck on Pacis. Not Jack.

I probably need to be more firm. But I give in at times, and then start thinking, “Well, we’re about to go through a big move, and maybe I shouldn’t introduce too much change all at once.”

But then I start thinking about what Nate would say, which would be: “Lauren, I don’t any genteel, sissy boy. He needs to learn how to take things like A MAN. What’s he sucking a paci for now, anyway? Let him cry. He’s a MAN.”

And I would say, “Honey, dearest, you’re ridiculous, love of my life. Because he’s a frikkin’ one year old. He’s not a man. And I don’t think he will suddenly be sapped of testosterone if I let him suck his paci until he’s 2.”

Nah, in all actuality, Jack would probably have him wrapped around his little finger by now, and Nate and Jack would have some sort of secret bonding society where they sneaked pacis (to Jack) and ate cookies all day. I’m just mean, then.

And so. The paci issue that I was firm on when I started writing this post is now yet to be confirmed at a later date. Dang. I ruined a perfectly good paci this morning, then.

I have family and friends that need to see Jack sprout. So this is for them (and anyone else that just wants to see Jackabee.)


We were chillin’ on our front porch with the rest of our retired neighbors. Me with a book and tea, and Jack with Thomas the Train and a sippy cup of milk–yep, in his britches. I was fully dressed.


Such a good boy.


I like this one. #38 was Nathan’s football number, too.


He really actually liked being in this bucket, for like 10 minutes. He’s a little strange, like his mama and his papa.


Trying to look deeply into the eyes of the little girl I watch before he gives her a kiss. I’m going to have to watch out for this one. He’s a romatic, like his papa. Oh wait, like his mama, too. Yeah, he’s got no chance.



To put it lightly, it’s like the plague at my house right now. I’ve been down and out with fever and sore throat the past couple of days while Jack joined me in those today. He also woke up with his left eye glued shut, and when I took him to the doctor, promptly found out he had a massive ear infection in his right ear that I had absolutely no idea about. He hasn’t been complaining about his ear or tugging at it or anything. Poor tough little kid.

I also found out that I am apparently one of America’s vast number of underinsured, because the doctor was about to send me a bill for a well baby visit from last month that my insurance didn’t cover. My insurance didn’t cover a well baby visit. Isn’t that, like, basic? I ended up paying freakin’ $200 for that visit, will be awaiting the bill that comes from today’s shenanigans, and sat there wondering what the heck I’m even paying out the nose for each month when I send my insurance a check. I tell you, it makes universal healthcare look mighty appealing. Too bad I won’t be voting for it, though, because then I also have to vote in favor of abortion, which I won’t bring myself to do, even if I have to pay out the nose for healthcare. It’s a conspiracy. I want a new political party altogether where I actually agree with stuff. Complete with new politicians. Anyway…

So, in light of my newfound poverty, I decided to fill the prescriptions to cure my Quasimodo-esque child at the cheapest place I could think of– which would be Wal-Mart. I haven’t been to Wal-Mart in awhile. I tell you, I was really set back at how many unhealthy people I saw. I’ve never seen so many motorized shopping carts in all my life. They literally drove down the aisles at 2 miles per hour in groups, probably talking about how they were underinsured, reminding me of what Hell’s Angels look like as senior citizens. It was so difficult to maneuver my cart around them, Wal-Mart should either make wider aisles or create some sort of rule about how many of those things can be on the floor at the same time.

I must confess that as I pondered the sadness at why these people couldn’t walk around for a short shopping trip at age 55 or 60, I noticed a common factor in all of their shopping carts. Terrible food choices. I mean, it was like, junk food, pizza rolls, coke, fake sugar donuts, all sorts of stuff like that. Hardly anyone had plain fruits or vegetables, and if they did, they were mostly canned. With added crap from canning, of course. Standing still for 5 minutes, waiting for them to unblock the aisle with their little go-carts, as they completely ignored my presence and sat there conversing with each other, I had time to realize it was so obvious that their poor food choices are literally crippling them! Now obviously, I am not saying that everyone who has to use a motorized cart is there because they eat unhealthily, nor am I trying to be disrepectful of the people I saw today. We live in a fallen world where there will always be disease and death until the day Jesus returns. But I think it’s safe to say that out of the crowd I saw today, joined with the general statistical information about the high number of Americans who are sick with diet-related diseases, I secretly wondered what something like a raw food diet, which may be the first vegetables these people have eaten in years, would do to their bodies. I personally think their bodies would recover in so many ways. I mean, if people thought of healthy food as a type of medicine, maybe America wouldn’t be in the healthcare crisis we are in now, since it’s mostly the cost of caring for those same diet-related diseases that drive the price of healthcare up. Like, I wouldn’t be paying out the nose for medical coverage that I’m not even sure actually covers anything. I’m talking to them tomorrow, maybe it’s just catastrophic coverage or something. Whatever.

My final thought gleaned from the aisles of Wal-Mart today that I will share with you: Goiter. Not quite sure that all of the growths that I experienced were even called goiters. But nonetheless…goiter. The grossest word in the English language? Try to think up a grosser one. I’d be interested, because I think “goiter” is the grossest. And multiple words put together, like “moist goiter” (sick!) don’t count, because that’s two words, not one.


(I tried to make it pretty right there for you, because I love you all. :)

Sorry about the delayed writing about The Moped. I’ve actually decided to include it with a different moped story at a later time. I thought it would fit better. :)

Jack and I took a little visit to Chicago to visit our familia. Yay. We love familia. Nate’s brother, Tim, his wife, Mandi, their two sons, Levi and Isaac, and Nate’s mom all live there, and we had a real fun time watching little boys attack each other all weekend. Levi is 2 1/2, and Jack is now to the age where he can keep up with bigger boys, wrestle, and not care about Mama so much. Hanging out with Nate’s mom and siblings always makes me happy and sad at the same time. Especially because Tim and Mandi got married 3 weeks before Nate and I did, so there’s this sense in being around them that I should be going through the same things they are going through. But I’m not.

On another note, Jack’s potty training has now taken a backward step and he tells the potty “No no!” every time he sees it. We are still working on the “sneaky feelies”, and he now looks at women’s shirtlines and tells the shirtlines, “No no!” while pointing at their chests. While this is better in some ways, it is still very obvious that he has an obsession with breasts in another way. Whatever. And, finally, the newest toddler embarrassment. Jack is pretty vocal, and likes to practice his T’s (example: “lighT” – real strong on the T sound), and likes to exclaim random things like, “OH…wow.” “OH….guga.” “OH…boysh.” I have only figured out “OH…wow”, but there is another one that sounds like english but is gibberish, and is a real common one. He’ll be looking at his paci, exploring its rubber texture, crinkle his eyebrows together and say, “OH…schiT.” This one thus pulls together his favorites of S sounds, exaggerated T sounds, and “OH…” whatever. Therefore, it is one of his favorites. All the time, walking around the house, “OH…schiT”. I spell it with an C, because obviously he is not saying the bad word (he didn’t learn it from me, okay??), and says it like a german would say “sch”, like “schmidt” or “schnickerdoodle”. Sorry, couldn’t think of another example at the moment, but it’s more gutteral, I guess.

This morning, we’re cuddling on the couch , and he hears a motorcycle outside. “Motorcycle,” I say and imitate the motorcycle sounds.


“Yep, motorcycle.”


“Motorcycle.” He looks at me, studies my eyes.

“Mama…” Looks at my chest and waves his finger at it. “No, no!” Looks out the window again. “Schycle. OH…schiT.”

Classic. Another day, another toddler drama.

Last night, Jack went pee in his potty for the first time. Honestly, it was more of an accident, as I pulled off his diaper, sat him on the potty for at least 5 minutes without so much as a drop. Finally he got bored, stood up, and immediately started peeing all over the bathroom floor. I then managed to suavely sit him on his potty to finish, and then went giddy with excitement over my baffled offspring after he had finished his business. I’ve been talking and thinking about it all day, so proud am I.

My extreme excitement over this event led my trail of thoughts back to 2 days ago, when I had changed a particularly offensive diaper of Jack’s. I sat for 20 minutes afterward, and still kept getting whiffs of the unpleasantries, though the diaper had been properly sealed away from all of humanity, and a general check of Jack assured me of his stinklessness. After that 20 minutes had passed was when I noticed my shirt had a nice smear of poo all over it, and I had been sitting in it the entire 20 minutes. It was me that stank. Very badly.

It’s funny how though both incidences were similarly bathroomic (yes, that’s a word…in Lauren world), but one was the highlight of my week and the other was the lowlight of my week.

It’s also funny that Jack has started a terrible habit of putting his hand down women’s shirts to feel their breasts, and how not to do THIS is the main lesson we are learning this week.

Truly, truly, I am the parent of a toddler. Poo, pee, and copping a feel are the topics of conversation today. I will post no pictures. Signing off.

I have to say, I love my son so much.  He’s just great.  He’s the coolest baby ever.  I breed well.  I’ll give Nate some credit for breeding well, too. :)

Here we are, running from place to place all day, in cold Seattle (though not as cold as I thought it might be), and he’s just been perfect.  Even the adults are tired, and I look over at Jack, all bundled up in his car seat, sleeping away there.  Or walking around in his stroller, he’ll take his nap there.  Or he and I sharing a sleeping bag on the floor of a strange apartment with 3 other girls sprawled out in locations over the room, he’ll sleep there quietly.  So flexible.

He’s definitely much more popular than me.  I’ll go out to some social gatherng, and people walk up with the first question, “Where’s Jack?” Or, when he is at said social gatherings, he just makes friends with everyone.  He’s much more socially adept than I.  Last night he spent the night playing “pick up the cards and say thank you after you hand over each and every one” with some random guy he met 5 minutes earlier than that.  He hammed up the small crowd by doing his “silly face” continuously.  The kid is popular.  I’m not jealous, I’m proud he’s more popular than me.

He gets it from his father.  Nate was one of those comfortable-in-any-crowd type of people–class president, lived in the apartment with all the good parties, the friend that everyone had in common type of guy.  But rather than having a flurry of fake or shallow friendships, he managed to have deep, life-changing relationships. I really hope Jack carries that into his adult life.  Even though this time of being a single mother can be very socially awkward, I hope that him getting out and meeting people he normally wouldn’t is instilling in him a deep love of people.  I want him to truly love people and know how to love them.

Jack makes me learn a lot about friendship.  Even by the type of “friend” he is to me.  It’s not about what you are doing or where you are; it’s not about whether one of the people is smelly or has ugly clothes.  It’s about not being afraid to be a little vulnerable with people, and in turn accepting them exactly as they come to you.  He’s been such a God-send friend to me since his papa died.  I couldn’t get out of bed from sadness sometimes at first, but he would just lay in bed with me.  So we would lay there together, hugging all day.  I would tell him how I was sad, and he would listen (or sleep). I might cry because I missed Nathan, and he might cry being he missed breastfeeding.  You know, almost the same kind of thing.  And now, he teaches me how to be less selfish.  How to get out of my comfort zone.  How to rely on God for both of us.  How to sacrifice for him. We’re in this together.

I’m so thankful for my baby.  He’s my best friend.  Love you, Jackabee.

P.S. He’s also a genius.  He knows all his animal sounds now, and named a kangaroo this morning.  17 month old genius, I tell you.

P.P.S. Seattle is wonderful.  We’re living it up.  More on that later.  And thanks to Erin, for telling me my last post was the most anti-climatical post ever.  I don’t know what we were building up to, but I knew it was coming one of these days… Just kidding. 

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